Objective: The anti-microbial efficacy of 2.5% sodium hypochlorite (SHC) and 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate were compared with an experimental irrigant formulated from the Neem tree, Azadirachta indica A. Juss. Materials and Methods: A sample of 36 single rooted anterior teeth with periapical radiolucency and absence of response to vitality tests that required root canal treatment were selected for this study. The test irrigants and their combinations were assigned to five different groups and saline served as the control. Access cavities were prepared using an aseptic technique and samples collected for both anaerobic culture and Gram stained smears, followed by irrigation and sample collection again. The number of organisms were expressed in colony forming units/ml after 72 h of incubation; the smears were analyzed for their microbial loads and tissue clearance and assessed as per defined criteria. Results: Our results found the maximum reduction in microbial loads, when analyzed by culture method, with a combination of SHC and the experimental neem irrigant. Maximum tissue clearance on the Gram Stained smears was also found with the same combination. Conclusion: Neem irrigant has anti-microbial efficacy and can be considered for endodontic use.
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